K - C
December Match Internet Chess Club (3), 17.12.2005
D45 - Semi-Slav : Stoltz Variation
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c6 [I woke up about 10 minutes before 8 o'clock and didn't really feel like another QGA 3...dxc4 . I decided on the Semi-Slav last night actually because I'm sure it will be something we both will face v. the 1.d4, 2.Nf3 setup] 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 [I know Kirk has no class as a chess player but I still thought he might try 5.Bg5 the Botwinnik system. I was flipping through an old TWIC and from 2000 i found a couple of games by Senff that went 5...dxc4 (5...dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5 b4?! 8.Ne4 Qd5 9.Ned2 c3 10.exf6 cxd2+ 11.Qxd2 gxf6 12.Bxf6 Rg8 13.Qc2 Nd7 14.Bh4 b3 15.axb3 Bb4+ 16.Kd1 c5 17.Bc4 Qh5 18.Qe4 Nb6 19.Qc6+ Bd7 20.Qxb6 Rg4 21.Rxa7 1-0 Gershon - Senff W Jun 2000) 6.e4 b5 7.e5 b4?! An inspired try! He scored ½/2 with it, but that's v. 2400 competition. I might give it a punt in blitz sometime. 8.exf6 gxf6 9.Bh4 bxc3 10.bxc3 Ba6 11.Nd2 Qd5 12.Bxf6 Rg8 13.Be5 Bh6 14.Bg3 Nd7 15.Be2 Bxd2+ 16.Qxd2 Qxg2 17.0-0-0 Qd5 18.Rhe1 Nb6 19.Qc2 Qa5 20.Bf3 Nd5 21.Bxd5 cxd5 22.Bd6 Bb5 23.Bb4 Qc7 24.Qxh7 Qf4+ 25.Rd2 0-0-0 26.Bc5 Rg2 27.Qh3 Rxh2 28.Qe3 Qxe3 29.fxe3 Rxd2 30.Kxd2 a6 31.Rf1 f5 32.Rg1 Rh8 33.Bd6 Kd7 34.Bf4 Rh7 35.Kc2 Kc6 36.Kb2 Kb6 37.Ka3 Rb7 38.Bd6 Bd7 39.Rg8 Kc6 40.Bc5 Rb1 41.Ra8 Re1 42.Rxa6+ Kb7 43.Ra7+ Kc6 44.Kb4 Rxe3 45.a4 f4 46.Ra6+ Kb7 47.Rb6+ Kc7 48.a5 Bc6 49.Ra6 Re1 50.Bb6+ Kd6 51.Ra7 Rb1+ 52.Ka3 Bd7 53.Bc7+ Kc6 54.Bxf4 Rb7 55.Ra6+ Kb5 56.Ra8 Bc6 57.Rc8 Bd7 58.Ra8 Bc6 59.Bg5 Rg7 60.Rb8+ Rb7 61.Rc8 Ra7 62.Bd8 Ra8 63.Rxa8 Bxa8 ½-½ Lopez Martinez - Senff W Jun 2000.
It may not be sound but it might be a switch from the usual Botwinnik stuff.] 5...Nbd7 6.Qc2 dxc4?! [Played because 6...Bd6 7.g4 is the Shirov-Shabalov Gambit which I have never liked from the Black side (or the White side particularly). I've never analyzed it. One of my Semi-Slav books gives 7...Bb4 as played by Kramnik against Gelfand with a nice game. The text was played back in the 1940s which is funny because after the game I commented that I was playing like a 1930s grandmaster.] 7.Bxc4 Be7 [Now I'm out of book. They have played 7...Bd6 ;
and the natural 7...b5 before. I had resigned myself to a quiet opening and wanted to see if Kirk could breach the defenses] 8.0-0 [8.g4 was maybe playable here if he had his heart set on a Shirov-Shabalov type position, but i think g4 is weaker with the pawn on e7 v. d6] 8...0-0 9.e4 c5!? I played this because in similar positions in the Meran proper e4 can be answered by c5. Unfortunately it wasn't an exact tranposition so i missed something 10.e5 Nd5 11.Bxd5 exd5 [11...cxd4 was okay here] 12.Nxd5 cxd4 13.Nxd4?! [The preparatory 13.Bf4 (holding on to the pawn AND developing) was required here] 13...Nb6 [I was worried about the position after 13...Nxe5 14.Nxe7+ Qxe7 15.Re1 but missed that after 15...Re8 16.f4 Qd7 His knight was hanging as well. I had resigned myself to the fact that I was going down material and didn't look hard enough. honestly though i was happy enough with my position. with the e-pawn gone i can actually get my pieces into play 17.Be3 Ng4] 14.Nxb6 [14.Nxe7+ the time here? 14...Qxe7 15.Nf3 looks pretty solid to me] 14...Qxb6 15.Be3 Bc5 16.Ne6! [I almost resigned on the spot, seeing that the rook was attacked by the bishop on the other end of the exchanges. I expected the pressure to build with 16.Rad1 . Then i collected myself and realized that it was just an exchange of pieces.] 16...Qxe6 [16...Bxe6 17.Bxc5 Rfc8 worked just as well. I knew he was gaining initiative and just wanted to hang on 18.Bxb6 Rxc2] 17.Bxc5 Re8 18.f4?! [I thought I was busted after 18.Bd6 ] 18...Qd5 19.Rfd1 Qc6 20.Rac1 Be6 Necessary because there was always an eventual threat of ...Rc8, ...b6 21.Rd6 [If 21.f5 Bxa2 22.b3 Rxe5! I missed that. I thought that I couldn't grab the pawn] 21...Qb5 22.f5 Bxa2 23.e6? [We both missed that 23.b4! was strong 23...b6 24.Qxa2 (24.Bd4 Bd5) 24...bxc5 25.e6 caused some troubles.] 23...fxe6 24.fxe6 [Fritz said that 24.f6 was better opening up the king] 24...Rxe6 25.Rxe6 [25.b4 was tricky again 25...Re2 26.Rd2 Rxd2 27.Qxd2 Be6] 25...Bxe6 26.Qe4 Qc6 27.Qf4 [I, of course, was hoping for 27.Qxc6 bxc6 and trying to ground him down on the sunny side of a (probably drawn) endgame. He, of course, wanted to keep as much material on the board] 27...Rc8 28.Be3 Qe8? Throwing away any slight advantage I had 29.Rxc8 Qxc8 30.Bxa7 I totally missed, like Kirk 10 moves earlier, that this pawn was hanging. 30...Qd7= Game drawn by mutual agreement That was a quick draw in the big picture, but it seemed like more than 30 moves to me. Opposite colored bishops, symmetrical pawn structures...it's a draw. And I think it's the first half point I've nicked off Kirk as Black since we started. ½-½